Article

Hippocampal volume in aging combat veterans with and without post-traumatic stress disorder: relation to risk and resilience factors.

The Traumatic Stress Studies Program, Psychiatry Department, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, United States.
Journal of Psychiatric Research (Impact Factor: 4.09). 09/2007; 41(5):435-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2005.12.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine whether there are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related differences in hippocampal volume in middle-aged and elderly veterans and to examine the relationship of neuroendocrine activity, memory performance, and measures of risk and resilience for PTSD to hippocampal volume in this cohort.
Seventeen veterans with chronic PTSD and 16 veterans without chronic PTSD received an MRI scan followed by neuroendocrine assessment (24-h urinary cortisol excretion and the lysozyme IC(50-DEX), a measure of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) responsiveness), and cognitive testing.
Veterans with PTSD did not differ from those without PTSD in hippocampal volume, but they did show significantly lower urinary cortisol levels, and poorer memory performance on the Wechsler Logical Memory test and Digit Span test. Smaller left hippocampal volumes were observed in veterans who developed PTSD in response to their first reported traumatic exposure, compared to veterans who had first experienced a traumatic event to which they did not develop PTSD, prior to experiencing a subsequent event that led to PTSD. In contrast, the two neuroendocrine measures were associated with risk factors related to early trauma exposure.
Although hippocampal volume was not found to differ between subjects with and without PTSD, smaller hippocampal volumes in PTSD may be associated with specific risk and resilience factors. These may be distinct from vulnerability markers associated with increased responsiveness to glucocorticoids and/or other neuroendocrine measures that have been observed in combat-related PTSD.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Monte S Buchsbaum, Jun 25, 2015
2 Followers
 · 
84 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background. Psychosocial stress has been related to changes in the nervous system, with both adaptive and maladaptive consequences. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of negative events experienced throughout the entire lifespan and hippocampal and amygdala volumes in older adults.Method. In 466 non-demented old adults (age range 60-96 years, 58% female), hippocampal and amygdala volumes were segmented using Freesurfer. Negative life events and the age at which these events occurred were assessed by means of a structured questionnaire. Using generalized linear models, hippocampal and amygdala volumes were estimated with life events as independent variables. The statistical analyses were adjusted for age, gender, intracranial volume, lifestyle factors, cardiovascular risk factors, depressive symptoms, and cognitive functioning.Results. Total number of negative life events and of late-life events, but not of early-life, early-adulthood, or middle-adulthood events, was related to larger amygdala volume. There were interactions of early-life events with age and gender. Participants who reported two or more early-life events had significantly smaller amygdala and hippocampal volumes with increasing age. Furthermore, smaller hippocampal volume was found in men who reported two or more early-life events, but not in women.Conclusions. These results suggest that the effect of negative life events on the brain depends on the time when the events occurred, with the strongest effects observed during the critical time periods of early and late life.
    Psychological Medicine 10/2014; 45(06):1-10. DOI:10.1017/S0033291714002293 · 5.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background To evaluate differences in limbic structure volume of subjects exposed to urban violence during adulthood, between those who developed posttraumatic stress disorder (with PTSD) and resilient matched controls (without PTSD). Methods Limbic volumetric measures of 32 subjects with PTSD and 32 subjects without PTSD who underwent brain MRI were analyzed in an epidemiological study in the city of Sao Paulo. The hippocampus, amygdala, cingulate, and parahipocampal gyri volumes were estimated using FreeSurfer software. We also investigated the association between limbic volumetric measurements, symptom´s severity, and early life stress history (measure by Early Trauma Inventory – ETI). Results Subjects with PTSD presented reduced volume of the right rostral part of the anterior cingulate, compared to subjects without PTSD, after controlling for intracranial volume, ETI, and depressive symptoms. Subjects with PTSD presented larger bilateral hippocampus and right amygdala, but secondary to the higher ETI. In PTSD group there was a positive correlation between ETI with bilateral hippocampus, bilateral amygdala, and left parahippocampus. Limitations First, the cross-sectional study design precludes causal interpretation of limbic structure reduction in PTSD, consequence of PTSD, or other life events. Finally, since the sample size was not sufficiently large, we could not observe whether or not limbic structure volume could be related to the type of trauma. Conclusions The present study provides evidence of a reduced anterior cingulate volume in subjects with PTSD than in resilient subjects exposed to urban violence. Enlargement of hippocampus and amygdala volume was observed in subjects with PTSD, however secondary to early trauma experience.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 10/2014; 168:13–20. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.036 · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with functional abnormalities within a neurocircuitry that includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and medial prefrontal cortex. Evidence of structural abnormalities within these regions, and their association with PTSD severity and symptom burden is, however, sparse. The present study evaluated the relation between indices of gray matter volume and PTSD symptom severity using voxel-based morphometry. Fifteen individuals meeting DSM-IV criteria for PTSD completed the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale and underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Greater PTSD severity and avoidance/numbing were correlated with increased gray matter volume of the right amygdala-hippocampal complex. Greater hyper-arousal was associated with reduced gray matter volume in the left superior medial frontal gyrus. Findings are consistent with current neurocircuitry models of PTSD, which posit that the disorder is associated with structural and functional variance within this distributed network.
    Journal of anxiety disorders 04/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.04.004 · 2.68 Impact Factor